According to an essay appearing in Scientific American, flash flooding occurs when too much of the ground in an area is unable to absorb water, and then a lot more water is added to the area. The water rushes downhill over the surface until it can be absorbed, inundating low-lying areas. Priming your property to deal with flash floods then means primarily preparing the lowest parts of your home.
Firstly, check your gutters. They won’t help if the flood comes at ground level, but as Risk Factor pointed out, it is possible to discourage rainwater from pooling around a building’s foundation by removing debris from gutters and downspouts, and that’s the name of the game. You won’t be sorry your gutters are too clean!
If it seems inevitable that the lower reaches of your home will be flooded, consider installing a sump pump, and if you already have one, make sure it is working. Per State Farm, a sump pump is a small, below-basement pump that sends water that accumulates at the base of your home to a more acceptable location. It’s worth installing backup power on these systems, as they may be the last line of defense between your home and the floodwaters.
If an entire river decides to run through your neighborhood, gutters and a sump pump won’t stop it. But they certainly will limit damage, speed up recovery, and increase your resilience to lower-level flood events, so it’s worth maintaining them.
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